One year ago I hired the talented Harper Spero to help me find the time to complete a creative project. My life was action-packed and I needed to figure out how to make quality time and space for my craft in order to ultimately reach my writing goals for the year.
What Harper helped me to understand was that it was everything around the project that needed to shift first. This shift was necessary to bring my best self to the table as a creative professional and burgeoning business owner.
Let me explain.
The process began by optimizing first for health. Getting the proper nutrition, the right amount of sleep, and regular exercise were key to functioning at a high level.
After that, I needed a support system in place. It was critical to surround myself with a steady stream of quality individuals and communities.
After that, I needed to make sure that all of my work — creative and otherwise — had meaning.
A year ago, I knew that I wanted to branch out on my own at some point. I also wanted to help more people and dedicate more time towards creative projects.
Of course, there were other things too. I also wanted to get in better shape, start a regular meditation practice, and all of the things we aspire to be and do when the new year rolls around.
It was a lot. So with Harper’s help, I began measuring how I spent my time.
This enabled me to generate balance and see where I was (or was not) focusing the most.
First, I created five core areas of focus.
One year ago today, they were:
4. Career Transition
5. Writing Projects
I had target units to hit each week per category. This gave me something to work for each week. For example, 2 units of community, 10 of health/wellness/fitness.
Every night I marked off the units that had been achieved for the day. One unit of meditation. One community event.
We put a running tally in place to see how I was performing week-over-week, month-over-month.
I am proud to say that after 12 months, I now meditate almost every evening and have successfully transitioned to take on freelance marketing work full-time, bringing in on other partners to work with in the process.
I am also close to completing a creative writing project that I’m eager to announce later in the year.
I have made some great friendships, been part of a happy romantic relationship, and have dipped in and out of several communities where I have found incredible camaraderie and support in my journey.
This in mind, my goals for 2017 have been slightly edited to the following:
2. Business Building
7. Experiencing Joy
I wanted to make my goals productive and also enjoyable, keeping in mind the holistic model of incorporating all aspects of life into the plan.
The biggest challenge I noticed from last year have been showing up consistently for the units I have the most fear and/or apprehension about. For example, I’m not the best at sales, so I already know that business building will be a challenge.
I also get nervous about attending new community events for the first time — just another thing to be aware of.
I am willing to tackle these challenges head-on because 1.) each unit is driven by my core values and beliefs, and 2.) through other exercises undertaken in 2016 I have become increasingly risk-hungry (and therefore am willing to get uncomfortable).
With those goals in mind, alongside my core values and principles, I use this methodology as a means for taking action on my goals.
Some good working templates and resources for making this your best year ever can be found at the following: